Visiting Portugal may be one of the best decisions in your life. You wonder why? Well, we can start with a splendid 800-km-long coastline of Atlantic, then Lisbon, the fantastic capital city which enjoys a great location near the mouth of the Tagus River, which few centuries ago served as a departure point of epic sailing voyages of discovery, which is why Portugal still nurtures a proud seafaring tradition. Located on the western coast of the Iberian peninsula, Portugal is one of Europe’s most visited countries for its perfect climate, affordable travel costs and exceptional attractions. This and much more, from delicious cuisine and friendly people to colorful cities and places where old meets new, are what is waiting for you in this really unique European country!
The town which gave the country its very name is the perfect point to start your tour at. Portugal’s second-largest city after Lisbon, known also as Oporto, is centered around its old town at Ribeira which today makes part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, and stands on the hills overlooking the Douro River. A must see in the city is the 14-century São Francisco church, but don’t forget to visit local port wine cellars since the locals are very proud of their wine tradition, mostly located across the river at Vila Nova de Gaia.
How to get to Porto:
- By bus: here are some of the most popular routes → Madrid to Porto, Barcelona to Porto, Lyon to Porto, Montpellier to Porto
Continue your journey to Coimbra, the medieval capital of Portugal for more than hundred years and the place with the best university in the country, so, it’s no wonder the city is overrun by students which occupy bars and cafes. This is the city of high importance in Portuguese history and it is proud of its historic core settled on the east bank of Mondego River, of which the most beautiful part are multicolored buildings. While there, don’t miss out on some of the city’s best museums like Cience Museum and Nacional de Machado de Castro Museum.
How to get to Coimbra:
- By bus from Porto: There are more than 10 departures a day by the Rede Expressos company. One way fare is 12,50€ and the journey takes 1h 30min.
It’s time for one of Europe’s cheapest and most cosmopolitan capitals, Lisbon. Located over hills near the mouth of the Tagus Rives, it’s a place of unbreakable connection with the sea and of great maritime tradition. Lisbon is a colorful and vibrant city, rich with many historic monuments, first-class museums and breathtaking attractions. Explore the city’s narrow streets, stroll the promenade, ride in an authentic yellow tram and try local cuisine, and, of course, go and see Jeronimos Monastery, the number one attraction in Portuguese capital.
How to get to Lisbon:
- By bus from Coimbra: The journey is 2,5 hours long and one way ticket costs 13,80€. There are over 25 daily departures seven days a week.
- By train from Coimbra: There are two standards of train that connect Lisbon and Coimbra, the Alfa-Pendular and the intercity. A single ticket costs 32,80€ for the first one and 24,30€ for the intercity. The journey is 2h 40min long.
Despite its small size and only a bit over 50 000 inhabitants, Faro is one of most popular sites in Portugal. There are few reasons why Faro is the best-known city in the region of Algarve, from an archaeological museum and a Bishop’s Palace to a destroyed-but-rebuilt Rennaisance cathedral. Also, not far away from the city, in Estoi, you can see the Roman ruins and Albufeira, a former charming fishing village with the Moor influences in the 8th century. The area is now known for its 20 beaches and a wild nightlife.
How to get to Faro:
- By bus from Lisbon: Rede Expressos company has several departures a day with a single fare of 20€-22€. The journey time is 4 hours.
- By train from Lisbon: There are 4 departures a day on this route. One way ticket costs 25€ and the journey is 3,5 hours long.
If you want to make a short trip to the past, then this is the right point for it on your route. One of Portugal’s most preserved medieval towns, Evora is hidden inside the 14th-century walls. Apart from its historical part, which gives you an opportunity to enjoy a medieval cathedral, the cinematic columns of the Templo Romano and a picturesque town square, Evora is a vibrant university town with many restaurants serving the fantastic Alentejan cuisine. If you want to have a day trip, you can do that as well, thanks to Neolithic monuments and rustic wineries nearby.
How to get to Evora:
- By bus from Faro: There are 4 departures a day on this route. A single fare costs about 20€ and the journey is approximately 4 hours long.